NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The needs are clear. The order in which the Tennessee Titans fill them, starting Thursday night with two picks scheduled in the first round, is not.
What they need in the next three days, in my priority order, with some names to consider for beyond the first round (some of which were first brought to my attention by Midday 180 co-hosts Jonathan Hutton and Chad Withrow.)
Cornerback -- Right now, LeShaun Sims is the second starter with Logan Ryan, and Brice McCain remains the nickel. The Titans need at least one upgrade and some depth. A tough, unafraid cornerback who can line up and play on Day 1 is a necessity if they are going to improve a poor pass defense. That doesn’t mean they’ve got to take a cornerback at No. 5, or even in the first round.
Guy I am curious about later in the draft: San Diego State's Damontae Kayzee had 15 interceptions over the past two seasons.
Wide receiver -- The Titans can stick at No. 5 and very likely have their choice of the draft's top receivers: Mike Williams, Corey Davis or John Ross. Any of them would amount to a huge addition to their group. They are such a two-tight end team that O.J. Howard could be more of a priority at the top of the first round.
Guy I am curious about later in the draft: Louisiana Tech's Carlos Henderson scored 23 touchdowns in 2016, 19 receiving.
Tight end -- Anthony Fasano was a key part of the Titans' run game last season, and their second tight end moved on to Miami as a free agent. Delanie Walker is getting older and the Titans are a tight end-centric team. They could be players for Howard or David Njoku, but this is also a deep draft at the position.
Guy I am curious about later in the draft: Iowa's George Kittle, who is 6-foot-4, 247-pounds and has run a 4.52, is rated as a technician.
Inside linebacker -- The Titans have been hurt by some middling tight ends. Though they like Avery Williamson a lot, he needs to be the bigger, thumping guy in the middle with a rangier guy beside him. Reuben Foster is that guy and Haason Reddick could also play that role.
Guy I am curious about later in the draft: LSU’s Duke Riley made nine tackles for a loss, had 1.5 sacks and an interception in his final college campaign. I'm not certain he's the coverage solution.
Outside linebacker -- Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan are not young, and second-year man Kevin Dodd is still having foot issues. Aaron Wallace could be in the mix depth-wise, but the Titans have to have options for rushing the passer.
Guy I am curious about later in the draft: Wisconsin’s Vince Biegel had 18.5 sacks over the past three seasons.